Inflammation is our body’s natural defense mechanism, our immune response system and our body’s way of trying to protect itself from stress, injury, cell damage, irritants and other toxins.
Our body wants to be healthy and in a state of balance. When it’s not, it goes into protection mode and starts to inflame. We all know what inflammation is on the outside—a sprained and swollen ankle, a cut that becomes red and infected, a fever—but what about our insides?
Inflammation can affect our organs and internal structure that manifests as weight gain, chronic pain, dementia, or zaps our vitality and diminishes our overall well-being.
Poor nutrition choices such as processed foods, sugar, meats, trans fats, and lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, smoking, stress and lack of sleep, are just a few reasons why many people are battling so many health issues.
Diabetes, heart disease, obesity and countless other illnesses have been linked to chronic low-grade inflammation.
The good news is that there are ways we can “de-flame” ourselves.
Lifestyle changes and a diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods can diminish this low-grade inferno and help to improve your body on the outside as well as the inside where it counts!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil—A healthier fat that will help reduce inflammation as well as protect the heart and blood vessels
Turmeric—This Asian spice is a natural anti-inflammatory found in curries and is said to have the same effect as some over-the-counter pain relievers.
Blueberries—As well as protecting the brain from aging and reducing inflammation, blueberries are also known to help prevent some cancers and the effects of dementia.
Flaxseed—Antioxident, anti cancerous and anti inflammatory.
Avocados—Regulate blood pressure, have anti aging properties, and help prevent strokes, birth defects and cancer.
Green Tea—Green is always good, so it doesn’t surprise me that this naturally “de-flames” and also is known to help reduce some forms of cancer, as well as giving some big antioxidant boosts.
Sweet Potatoes—A colorful way to fight inflammation in the body, a great source of fiber and a healthy complex carbohydrate.
Dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables—My favorite way to de-flame: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower are all filled with antioxidants and detoxifiers. You can’t ask for anything better.
Shiitake mushrooms—An anti-inflammatory delight with great immune-boosting properties.
INFLAMMATORY FOODS TO AVOID
Sugar—especially white refined
Trans fats—fried foods, fast food, partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, cheap vegetable oils
Alcohol—Yes, that’s right!
Feed lot-raised meats, red meat—meats that are raised with hormones, antibiotics, etc.
Artificial foods and additives— sugar substitutes such as Aspartame, MSG, food coloring.
Refined grains—white rice, pasta, pastries, muffins, white bread, white flour.
By omitting these inflammatory foods and outside stressors you can help create a healthier, leaner and less inflamed body. You will not only start looking better on the outside but will start feeling better on the inside. Start de-flaming, and your body will be ever so thankful.
To your health!